By: Baruch Yedid
Israel has begun to confiscate the monthly stipends paid by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to convicted terrorists with Israeli citizenship and their families, the first time such action has been taken since Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced the move in December.
Israeli forces confiscated money and property from the homes of former security prisoners in eastern Jerusalem and ordered them to deposit the salaries they received from the PA into a designated bank account.
According to sources in Jerusalem, the police confiscated funds from the homes of Majdi Abbasi, Naji Odeh and Basel Abu Tia in Silwan, as well as from Ihab Bakirat in Tsur Baher.
NIS 25,000 were confiscated from Abbasi, and the family was required to deposit another NIS 19,800 received from the PA. NIS 1,000 was confiscated from Odeh, and they were required to deposit another NIS 17,000, and NIS 790 was confiscated from Abu Tia who was required to deposit NIS 46,000 received from the PA.
In addition, the police confiscated Ihab Bakirat’s vehicle, and the family was required to deposit NIS 60,200 received from the PA.
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center reports that families of released terrorists were required to pay large sums of money received from the Palestinian Authority as salaries, based on information provided by the security system.
The police ordered the Intisar Hamed family to deposit NIS 37,600 and Muhammad Salman’s family was required to deposit NIS 12,400.
The police explained that these were funds “received from a hostile entity.”
The PA has a policy of paying the families of convicted terrorists imprisoned in Israel, including Arabs with Israeli citizenship. The payments have been criticized as a financial incentive to commit terrorist attacks against Israelis.
Bennett said he plans to use all the legal tools at his disposal to prevent the PA’s payments from reaching the terrorists.
“We have moved to actions. This is another step in the campaign against terrorists. We are working so that Jewish blood will no longer be profitable,” he said in December.
The PA has been paying monthly salaries to convicted terrorists imprisoned in Israel since its establishment.
According to the PA’s pay scale, the salary of an imprisoned terrorist begins at NIS 1,400 ($401) every month from his first day in prison, and gradually rises to NIS 12,000 ($3,435), in accordance with the amount of time he has been in prison.
Therefore, the more severe the attack was, the higher the stipend the terrorist is set to receive.
Terrorist prisoners who are married, have children or are Israeli citizens or residents of eastern Jerusalem receive a special addition to the base salary.